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Ten key election races and results

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McDonnell wins Virginia
  • GOP's Chris Christie will win New Jersey governorship, CNN projects
  • New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg turns back tough challenge
  • CNN projects Republican McDonnell wins Virginia governor's race
  • Houston voters could elect Texas city's first openly gay mayor

(CNN) -- Tuesday's off-year election might not have the high stakes of the 2008 presidential election, but there are several significant races worth watching:

Virginia governor: McDonnell is projected winner

CNN has projected that Republican Bob McDonnell will be elected Virginia governor. The 55-year-old former state attorney general will be the first Republican to win the state's highest office in 12 years.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, McDonnell was leading Democratic opponent Creigh Deeds 59 percent to 41 percent.

The race was seen as an early referendum on voters' attitudes toward President Obama and his policies and an opportunity for Republicans to turn back recent Democratic gains.

More on Virginia gubernatorial race

New Jersey governor: GOP's Christie is winner, CNN projects

Republican challenger Chris Christie will defeat New Jersey Gov. John Corzine, CNN has projected.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Christie was leading Corzine, a Democrat, 49 percent to 45 percent. Chris Daggett, an independent candidate, had 6 percent.

Video: Referendum on Obama?
Video: Obama voters can't carry Virginia
Video: 'Good night' for GOP in Virginia

Corzine, who was seeking a second term, trailed Christie during the summer, but recent polls showed them in a dead heat. As Election Day approached, some thought growing support for the moderate Daggett might siphon votes from Christie.

More on New Jersey gubernatorial race

New York mayor: Bloomberg to win third term, CNN projects

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will win a third term despite a tough challenge from Democrat Bill Thompson, CNN has projected.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Bloomberg led Thompson 51 percent to 46 percent.

Bloomberg's apparent victory comes after he changed the city's constitution to lift a two-term limit.

Bloomberg, an independent candidate, had led Thompson, the city comptroller, by double digits in most pre-election surveys. Bloomberg has outspent his rival in TV ads, $33 million to $2.66 million.

Boston, Massachusetts, mayor: Menino wins, Globe says

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has won a record fifth term, the Boston Globe reported. CNN is not making a projection in the race.

With all precincts reporting, Menino led City Councilman Michael Flaherty 57 percent to 42 percent, according to the Globe.

In Menino's previous races, he either won overwhelmingly or he ran unopposed. Menino wins fifth term

Maine same-sex marriage vote: Early results are close

Early results on a measure that would reject a law allowing same-sex marriage were tight, according to the Bangor (Maine) Daily News.

With 70 percent of precincts reporting, nearly 52 percent of voters chose to reject the law, with more than 48 percent voting to retain it, according to the Daily News.

When Gov. John Baldacci signed the legislation on May 6, he did so knowing there was a possibility that voters could overturn it. In September, opposition groups delivered the necessary signatures to get a vote.

Maine would be sixth state to allow same-sex marriage if voters uphold the legislation. Same-sex marriage proponents work to get out the vote

Medical marijuana in Maine: 'Yes' has lead

Early results seemed to favor the passage of a referendum that would expand the use of medical marijuana in Maine.

With 70 percent of precincts reporting, 59 percent of voters chose "yes" in the referendum, according to the Bangor (Maine) Daily News.

Voters in Maine, one of 14 states to allow the use of medical marijuana, were asked to decide whether to expand the list of conditions that could be treated with medical marijuana and make it easier to expand the list further in the future. It also would create state-licensed dispensaries.

Portland Press Herald: Turnout may surpass 50 percent, official says

New York's 23rd Congressional District

Why it matters: A conservative backlash against a moderate Republican candidate propelled this race into national headlines as proof of an ongoing family feud between the far right and moderates for control of the party.

What's the story?: Local Republican leaders picked Dede Scozzafava because of her appeal to centrist Republicans, independents and even some Democrats. But it sparked a conservative revolt, and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman outpolled Scozzafava, forcing her to withdraw. Scozzafava has since endorsed Democrat Bill Owens.

New York district bares fight for GOP's soul Interviews with supporters of Owens, Hoffman

Civil unions in Washington state

Why it matters: Washington decides whether to edge closer to same-sex marriage.

What's the story?: Earlier this year, what is called Washington's "everything but marriage" bill was signed into law and gave registered domestic partners additional state-granted rights currently given only to married couples. In a vote similar to Maine's, Washington will decide whether to overturn the legislation.

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Atlanta, Georgia, mayor

Why it matters: Thirty-five years of African-American control of the mayor's office could end in Georgia's capital city.

What's the story?: White City Councilwoman Mary Norwood is the front-runner in this nonpartisan race between her and chief competitors City Council President Lisa Borders and former state lawmaker Kasim Reed. Incumbent Shirley Franklin, limited to two terms, recently said she is voting for Reed.

Watch how Atlanta's mayor isn't backing the front-runner Video

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Coverage of mayoral race

Houston, Texas, mayor

Why it matters: The nation's fourth-largest city could elect its first openly gay mayor.

What's the story?: City Controller Annise Parker, who has been elected six times to citywide posts, has an even chance of winning, according to polls. Among her competitors are City Councilman Peter Brown and City Attorney Gene Locke.

Watch how a Texas candidate could make history Video

KHOU: Voter turnout appears light Tuesday

Houston Chronicle: Scouting report on mayoral race

CNN's Paul Steinhauser, Emily Sherman, Ed Hornick, Robert Yoon and John Helton contributed to this report.